Paying Your Way
It's never too early to begin thinking about student loan repayment options.
The federal government offers four repayment plans, each with its own qualifications. Visit www.studentaid.ed.gov for details and to determine which of these might work best for you.
- Standard: Pay a fixed amount of at least $50 per month until your loan is fully paid (up to 10 years).
- Graduated: Pay a lower amount each month in year one, then increase your monthly payment over time.
- Extended: Pay a fixed amount each month with the maximum dependent on the amount you borrowed.
- Income Based: You may be eligible if your federal loan debt is high relative to family size and income; for details, visit www.ibrinfo.org.
Debt Forgiveness Plans
If you just can’t afford to make your loan payments, the worst thing you can do is nothing. To avoid default, face up to your situation and seek help.
The federal government might forgive your debt under certain conditions related to what you do and where you work. You may qualify for student loan forgiveness if you are:
• A public service employee, including Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Head Start and VISTA workers; nurses and medical technicians; law enforcement and corrections officers; child and family services workers; and more.
• A teacher who has been teaching full time in a school serving low-income students for five consecutive years.
To find out if your career qualifies under either category, call 1-800-4-FED-AID. For general information about loan forgiveness, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation.